Mark James Bonin
‘A tree is known by
its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows
courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.’ Saint
Mark James Bonin
was born in Chesterton, Indiana on 28th December 1956, and died in Samoa in
the South Pacific Region on 16th January 2020, aged 63 years.
His parents were
the late Robert and Patricia Bonin of Dune Acres, Indiana.
Mark is survived by
his wife, Georgina Bonin, daughters, Meghan and Mishaela Bonin, and six
grandchildren, as well as his sisters, Gwen and brother in-law Joe Saffa,
and Sally Bonin. He attended Lake Forest Academy and graduated with a
Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1980,
majoring in Wildlife Biology and Management. He joined the U.S. Peace Corps
Volunteer program that year and was assigned to Samoa, where he went on to
continue his studies and undertook numerous professional placements and
assignments in Samoa and the Pacific Region for the next 40 years. Mark was
a climate change warrior and promoted environmental protection right up to
the end. He loved this place, its culture and especially his family and
particularly his children and grandchildren, brothers and sisters, nieces
and nephews. He was a devoted friend and followed the NFL and NBA all his
life and championed the Chicago Bears all the way! In the words of Robert
Frost--'Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled
by, and that has made all the difference.' May he Rest in Love and Peace
until we meet again.
We are so grateful
for all the help and support provided to us by our extended family and
friends as well as Mark’s associates and the Catholic Church during the last
decade of his 40 years living in Samoa and the Pacific Islands. He never
stopped giving his all for the protection of Samoa’s environment and the
Samoan culture that he grew to love and respect so much.
Born in Chesterton,
Indiana, he was indeed, far from home, but he never thought of returning for
he had decided that this was where he wanted to be. Faafetai tele to all his
doctors who have taken care of him over the years and especially those at
the emergency ward last week when he left us, the people and organizations
that gave him employment, and his numerous friends and contacts around the
world and the region. Those that made him laugh and enjoyed his music and
American gridiron and basketball. The good-humored bantering never stopped.
Maleko, as he was fondly called, knew no rank in his friendship Š he was
friendly with all and made room for all in his life. He loved his family
most of all and especially our children. He worried about their future and
tried to make his home environment at least, self-sufficient and climate
resilient. A God-fearing man, he attended Mass on Sundays and prayed for us
all. God give him peace and love.
Ua fai I le lagi
folauga o le matou pele. Ua mae’a uma tiute ma galuega, ua le toe tigaina
Sala Georgina Bonin,
Tulepapa Meghan, MIshaela Bonin, Grandchildren ma le Aiga faanoanoa.